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Sessions, other candidates make last minute appeal to Jefferson County Republicans

Jeff Sessions

Saturday, the Jefferson County Republican Party held a pancake breakfast at the Vestavia Hills Civic Center to energize local Republicans and give voters an opportunity to meet as many of the candidates as possible ahead of the Republican primary on Tuesday, March 3.

Former State Representative Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, is the Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.

“I hope this enthusiasm carries over to November so that we can re-elect President Trump and so our nominee can beat Doug Jones,” DeMarco said. “While we are here eating pancakes in Vestavia Hills Democrats abroad are having a reception in Paris for Doug Jones.”

Nearly two dozen candidates attended the event, most of them candidates for Trump delegate.

Jeff Sessions is a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat he held from 1997 to 2017.

“It is an honor to be here with you and it would an honor to represent you in the U.S. Senate,” Sessions told the packed room.

Sessions told reporters that he has been a “proven warrior” for Alabama values and promised to work with President Trump on implementing his agenda. Sessions said that the year following Trump’s re-election will present an enormous opportunity ‘to get things done.”

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Sessions explained his decision to recuse himself in the investigation of the 2016 campaign because there is a Department of Justice rule that precludes a DOJ official from being involved in the investigation of a campaign if they were involved in that campaign.

Sessions said that he supports the President’s China policy; while Tommy Tuberville has called himself “a free trader” and said he disagrees with the President on China.

Sessions promised that he would be even more effective than I was in the past.” “I am a proven fighter, who has stood up for Alabama values, even when there was enormous pressure no. I have even stood up to previous Republican Presidents.”

State Representative Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs, is also running for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked: President Trump asked for $2.5 billion from Congress, with $1 billion of it coming from moving money from existing appropriations. The Senate attacked him for not asking for enough money. Even Senator Shelby accused the administration of “low balling” the request.

“It was a start,” Mooney said. “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem, and that is true in Montgomery too.”

APR asked Mooney how the campaign has been going.

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“I and my wife, Kelly, have really enjoyed it,” Mooney said.

Gilbert Douglas was twice elected as Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party in 2004 and again in 2010.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked Douglas: Are you confident that President Trump can win re-election?

“Yes, pretty confident,” Douglas said. “It does depend on who the other side nominates; but I don’t see how they can put anybody out who can beat Trump.”

APR asked if Doug Jones was doing a good job representing the values and interests of the people of Alabama.

“No, not the majority of Alabamians,” Douglas answered

APR asked: Doug Jones has raised over $7.5 million and appears to be on pace to spending $15 to $20 million in this race. Do you think that the eventual Republican nominee will not be able to overcome the amount of money that Lathan will be able to put in this race?

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“I don’t think so, people are very sensitive about the election being bought,” Douglas answered. “There is a sentiment against Doug Jones no matter how much money they spend.”

There were an estimated 120 people in attendance at the event as well as a number of candidates for statewide office.

“We had a great turnout,” DeMarco said. “This is the first time we have done this and we didn’t know what to expect. I met a number of people for the first time.”

Alabama is unique in that all of the state appellate courts are partisan elected offices.

State Senator Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, asked for voters to support him for Alabama Supreme Court Place 1.

Associate Justice Greg Shaw (R) said, “I am running for my third term for Alabama Supreme Court Place 1.”

State Representative Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, asked voters to vote for him for the Alabama Court for Civil Appeals Place 2. “Vote Fridy on Tuesday.”

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Will Smith announced that he was running for the Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2.

Melvin Hastings said, “I am running for Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Place 1.”

Jill Ganus said, “I am running for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2. I ask on March 3 that you vote for me.”

A number of people were there campaigning for Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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